The topic of abortion has always been a controversial issue. It is also a topic that people don’t have to go far to see in the news or read about in the papers. While it really is a decision that should be left to mom (and/or dad) it seems like everyone wants a say in what a woman decides. At the end of the day, the choice to have an abortion is just that, a choice. We make many choices throughout our days and lives. With the ability to make a choice, we also accept the responsibility that one day we may regret that choice. Abortion is no different.
While there is no law that a woman can not have an abortion, laws do very slightly by country. In Canada, an abortion can only take place up until 20 weeks’ gestation. In the United States, this varies. If the pregnancy is a severe and real threat to the mother’s health, she can terminate at any point. For the rest, it is different state by state. The choice to end a pregnancy is a very personal choice and should only be made by the mother (and father possibly) with a discussion among a medical team.
This article is not a discussion on the pros and cons of abortion, or the nitty-gritty details on the methods of abortion. It focuses on 15 women who chose to have an abortion and then later regretted it. The choice to have an abortion is not like many choices in that once you go through with that decision, you can’t take it back. Sometimes, we look back with nothing but regrets, and this may be the most heartbreaking one.
Names will not be mentioned in this article for obvious reasons, and each entry will be in the mother’s words to fully portray the weight of their decision.
This women’s heartbreaking decision was obviously fueled by religion and a very strict father, though she hopes to greet a rainbow baby very soon. This is a woman from Fort Worth, Texas.
“Growing up, I was raised by my mom who wasn't very religious. My dad, who was separated from my mom, was religious. When I was nine, my mom was incarcerated. After that, I was raised by my dad. He was pretty tough, strict and very overprotective of me. At the age of 18 I moved in with my aunt from my mom's side. At this time I had a boyfriend, who is now my soon-to-be husband. I got pregnant. Before I even took a pregnancy test, I had I had already decided to get an abortion if the test came up positive. I took the test Saturday and made the appointment by Monday. The whole experience was so unreal.
There were so many girls in the waiting room. Looking back, I can hardly believe we were all there for the same thing. At the time my boyfriend went with whatever decision I wanted. Six years later, I still feel guilty over the decision I made—especially when I think about how selfish I was being, knowing the statistics of how couples end up after having a baby. After the abortion, I just wanted to get my life together. I wanted to hurry and have a baby to replace the one I gave up. I am a Catholic and now going through the marriage preparation, I think about the time I had the abortion and how, at the time, I didn’t really think about how bad abortion was and how I just killed a part of me. To this day, nobody knows about the abortion except me, my fiancé, and a close cousin. I try not to think about it, but I can't help thinking that the person I really love made something with me and I just gave it up. At first, I really tried blaming him. I wish he would have done more to stop me, but in the end I know it was all me. I even think about how, when we start having kids, I'm always going to think about the fact that I was pregnant once before. I really have nobody to talk to about this. I feel so much guilt and feel like I would be judged as a horrible person.”
This next woman is from New Zealand, who had not been with her boyfriend very long before she found herself with child.
“I found out I was pregnant at five weeks. I've always loved babies, and I love my boyfriend—although we've only been together for less than a year. But I let my fear get the best of me. I convinced myself I wasn't ready, although deep down I knew I would be okay. My boyfriend and I agreed to end the pregnancy. I had my abortion at 11 weeks, 2 days, on the 7th of February, 2017. I waited over a month after finding out because I struggled. But I did it, and it is the worst decision I've ever made, I wish I walked out of the hospital that morning. I took my baby home with me to bury and that just deepened my pain—but I don’t regret that. I cry and I get angry a lot. It’s a huge thing to hold on your shoulders. I’m constantly looking up pictures of what my baby would have looked like right now if I had kept him or her. Nothing has ever hurt me this bad; I feel so stupid. I wish I could turn back the clock. BE SURE ABORTION IS WHAT YOU WANT. Don't let the pressure get to you. Ugh. It just sucks so bad, thinking about my little baby all the time.”
This next woman is different is that she has a child, and the choice to abort was with her second child. She is from Woodbridge, Virginia.
“I was 25 and a single mom to a 2-year-old daughter. I had reconnected with my very first boyfriend from my freshman year of high school. Old feelings resurfaced, and I ended up pregnant. I was scheduling visitation for my daughter with her father and noticed I was 6-weeks late, so I took a test and found out I was pregnant for sure. I had gotten an ultrasound and there was my baby. I talked to the father and he was excited, but I realized he had two other babies with two other women. This would be his third baby with a third woman. I got so scared that my baby would be put aside like my daughter is and was by her father because he too has two other sons from two other women.
No one wanted to help me or at least they did not show it or speak out. I called my best friend and made the decision to ask her to drive me to an abortion clinic because I was just too scared. I went up to the office and I SWEAR with ALL my being that as soon as I took the pill and I saw the little blood, I started to freak out and tell the doctors that I could not do it anymore and that my baby needed to live! They looked at me and said that it was too late and that for my safety and for my daughter to have her mother, they needed to do the procedure because there was no way the baby would survive now.
I regret letting everything but my LOVE for this baby take me over! I cry every single time we get closer and closer to that date. Even though I never knew if my baby was a boy or girl, I still named the baby (even if people do not think I have the right!). The boy name is Stephen Andrew; the girl name is Makayla Stella.”
Our next mom from Nashville, Tennessee had a lot more on her plate that an unplanned baby. Sometimes the stress of life can lead you to choices you didn’t want to make.
“I had been in a very rocky relationship for about 2 1/2 years. We were crazy about each other but had insane fights. He was verbally abusive, but I loved him and I took him back every time. When we were good, we were really good. After breaking up 3 or 4 times we hooked up. I told him there was a chance I could get pregnant. He said, "Whatever it takes to be with you." When I found out I was pregnant, he wanted me to come over so he could rub my belly. He told me he wanted me to pick out the name. After two weeks of making future baby room knickknacks and picking out names, he told me that he thinks we made a huge mistake. He told me I should get an abortion and that he didn't want to be with me anymore. He was already a single dad, having just worked himself through school. He had just started a new job and refused to even ask off for work to take me. Because of the timing, it was too late to take the pill. I had to have a surgical abortion. I’d already had a non-surgical abortion about two months after meeting him. I didn’t think twice about it because I barely knew him at the time.
The stress of everything, and being pregnant and tired all the time, caused me to be late to my job so much that I got fired. I dropped my college class. I was pregnant, unemployed, and now single. I knew deep down I wanted to keep it, but I convinced myself it would be impossible. My sister had had an abortion too and told me not to tell our mom, because she would just give me crap about being irresponsible and stress me out even more. I didn't tell my mom until after it had been done, when she told me she would've helped me raise the baby and wished I hadn't done it. She confessed that she had had an abortion herself, but didn't want to tell me why.”
This mom from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania thought of herself as a strict Republican, until she was forced to make the decision herself.
“I constantly find my myself Googling pictures of what the fetus would look like had I kept it. I selfishly gave up my child to the lord three months ago. I was/am a diehard Republican. The thought of people wanting the "right" to kill their own child sickened me. I can't even live with myself. My soul wants to leave my physical body and go be with my angel baby. The emotions are intense and the situation is scary. I was horrified.
Getting pregnant by my ex-boyfriend who had treated me badly for so long put me in a confusing spot. He was a month away from moving back to the country where he was born, and there it was. The word "Pregnant" on the test hit me like a gun shot. I panicked. I was WEAK and selfish. I was not thinking clearly or like myself. I only knew I was pregnant for a week before I did what I did. I knew of the post abortion regret. I read about it over and over, preparing myself for misery. But online blogs, not even this one, can truly express in words the pain you feel the second you walk out those doors. I walked in there with one soul, and left with none. I have never been the same since that day. I refused to accept the fact that I loved being pregnant. I loved that apple seed with everything inside of me. Don't do it. The father of my child left the country and never spoke a word to me again.”
This young woman from New York not only got an abortion and regretted it, she chose a not so reputable place to complete the procedure.
“I just turned 17 when I found out I was pregnant. I was hiding it from my boyfriend and everyone for four weeks. During my 5th week, I found out he was cheating on me and got the girl pregnant. I saw how he was, so excited, and he hid it from me. I mentally broke down. I got into a deep depression ended up getting an abortion out of anger from a very unprofessional place. The pain was excruciating. I couldn't live with not knowing if my baby would be loved by not only me but its father. I regret it because we are now back together. I lie awake every night wondering if my baby would've changed me, if I hadn’t been so selfish. This decision has left me mentally scarred and very emotional. I never thought I'd be so disgusted with myself. Think before you have an abortion and realize your baby will love and support you all your life.”
This woman from the USA got the abortion to please the baby daddy. She highlights a great point to really think about the decision before signing the papers. Making sure it is really what you, the mother, want.
“I got an abortion on March 4, 2017. I knew I didn't want one, I knew it was wrong, and I knew it was a mistake. I'm 21 and a senior in college. I'm graduating in May and so is my boyfriend. He's the logical one, and I'm the emotional one. I wanted to keep my baby, but he refused to even consider it. Although I know he would help me raise the baby in the end, he would resent me and even told me how miserable he would be. I kept saying, "I don't want to have an abortion; I want to keep my baby; this is wrong; I’m going to regret this; you're forcing me to do this," etc, etc. He still kept saying we had to. He got up and drove me to the clinic; thankfully there were no protestors. I went in still saying I didn't want to do it.
Right before I went back, my boyfriend finally told me, "If you get back there and decide you can't, I'm not forcing you to do this.” But his face was saying, "You have to get this abortion." Minutes later, they called me back and what was I supposed to do—ruin my boyfriend's life? He made it very clear that’s what I’d be doing if I kept the baby. I was only six weeks along, so it was a quick and easy procedure. When I woke up, I felt alright. It wasn't until we left the city that my crying started. I haven't stopped crying, my cramps are unbearable, and there's so much blood. I made the biggest mistake of my life, and it's something I'm never going to forgive myself for.
I can't stop crying. I hate myself. I have a stuffed animal I keep dressing up in the onesie I was given at a Women's Care Center when I got my pregnancy test. They were so kind there. I don't want anyone else to ever have to feel this way. I wish I had at least postponed the appointment a few weeks, so I would have been able to have more time. Now it's too late, and there's nothing I can do to ever get my baby back. I'm never going to hold him, hug him, kiss him, care for him, feed him, take him to his first day of school, take him to college, watch him grow up, read him stories, or play with him. And those are only a few things I'm never going to get to do because of abortion.”
This woman from California will tell you that it is never a good idea to see an ultrasound picture of your little bean before having an abortion.
“I'm a high school student, and I am about to graduate in June 2017. When I found out I was pregnant, I was shocked. I didn't know how to react or what to think. I was already 9-weeks pregnant, clueless. All I could tell myself was that I wasn't ready; I can't raise a child, I'm "too young;" I have my whole life ahead of me! I told my boyfriend that I was pregnant, and he told me he was willing to support whatever decision I was going to make. I didn't know what to do. At first he wanted to keep it, but I insisted that we weren't financially stable. He agreed. So a few days later, I called Planned Parenthood and got set up for it a week later. Once the day finally came, I got up early in the morning. My boyfriend and I got ready to head downtown.
I waited for my name to be called in the waiting room with my boyfriend. The nurse guided me to an empty back room. The room had a machine; it looked to be like a vacuum. Then there was a machine where you can see an ultrasound. Everybody treated me with respect, I wasn’t used to it. When the nurse checked the ultrasound, she asked me if I wanted to see it and if I wanted a picture. I thought that If I didn’t see it one last time, I could just say “goodbye” and forget about it for the rest of my life. Once the doctor walked in with everything prepared, she told me that she would take good care of me. I trusted her word, so I went along with the procedure. As I was drugged, I was getting rid of this life that my boyfriend and I had created. It was sucked out through the tube, and all I could think during that time was that "it's good.” I'm doing it for a good reason; nothing will happen; things will just go back to the way they used to be; I don't have to worry about anything anymore.
Once everything was done, I didn't thank the doctor who'd done the procedure. I felt like I didn't need to thank her. I asked the nurse, “Where will the baby go?" She replied, “You mean the waste?" And that moment right there, that very last moment, my heart dropped completely! Moments later, I walked into the recovery room where I was given soda, crackers, a lollipop, and a pad. Then, I met my boyfriend outside. He told me that he loves me and that he is always going to be there for me. I spoke to my boyfriend about having a baby for real this time, but the thing is I don't know how long it will take me to have another baby because the same day of the abortion, I had in implant inserted into my upper left arm.”
For this family from Bridgeport, Connecticut, it seemed like they had all they could handle, and there wasn’t room, financially, for one more. There was room in this mother’s heart though.
“I found out I was pregnant on Valentine's Day of this year. It was two weeks before my 25th birthday, which I planned on celebrating in Miami. When I found out, I ran to my husband and cried. This would have been our fourth child together. We already have a four-year-old daughter, two-year-old daughter, and one-year-old son. The thought of bringing a fourth child into our already stressed-out, debt-filled, sleep-deprived life sounded like a complete nightmare.
I was not thrilled at all about this pregnancy, but I knew I could never abort one of my children. It's something I have always felt so strongly about. My husband, on the other hand, told me that there was absolutely no way we could afford to bring another life into this world and our only option was to abort. It didn't matter what he said at the time because, despite the unfortunate circumstances, this baby was already a part of me and I had already loved it.
I tried keep a positive attitude towards the situation, telling him how we have survived way worse things then having a child. I told him that it was our mistake for not using protection during sex and that we had to grow up and deal with the consequences of our actions. I promised to get my tubes tied so we wouldn't have to go through having another child ever again.
None of my efforts worked. Ten days later, after being verbally abused, ignored, and basically treated like the scum of the earth, I made my appointment to have an abortion. Part of me didn't want my child to be born with a dad so hateful. I figured my baby would be better off in heaven then in my own home.
The day that I decided to have an abortion was the absolute worst day of my entire life. I am way too sensitive of a person to have gone through the emotional damage that having an abortion has caused me. It's been three days and I have not stopped crying. I have nightmares about my baby every night. Whenever I get a moment to myself, I break down and cry. It's the type of pain you can feel in your bones, the type of regret that never goes away. I have dropped out of the online class I was taking because I can't seem to focus on anything but the child I killed. I am divorcing my husband and quitting my job to move down south with a family member. I sleep with a teddy bear at night now because of the emptiness I feel inside. I had my abortion three days ago, and I regret that day. I am a young mother of three, and I am here to tell anybody who thinks that having another child is hard that nothing is as hard as reliving the image of a complete stranger taking that child from you. It's disgusting and I hate myself every second of the day.”
As this young woman from New Jersey, USA can tell you, sometimes it really is easier to find someone, anyone to blame.
“Voices in my head telling me I'm not strong enough. Am I the only one hearing all these? I ask myself, why me? Why not them? But the good people get hurt always, so I guess I'm one of them. Am I always gonna feel like I made the worst choice? Yes, I admit it was a horrible, painful choice, but at the end of the day I can't go back to change it. If I had a choice, I would go for it and make my life different—much happier and better. But we can't have flowers without rain. For me, it is always raining
I say those things to myself whenever I'm sad, but that's not true. I should have fought for the baby. It was mine, but just because I was scared and believed a man, I made the wrong choice, and I suffer for every breath I take. We can say I grew up with an alcoholic, abusive father. Yes, that made me who I am today. But I'm not proud. I want to change, but sometimes that's really hard. Choosing a different step in a path can be horrifying. Everywhere I go I cause problems of my own. I get myself involved in bad situations, and here it is a pattern of my life. A smile for me is a miracle. A miracle for me is a baby. And I know what you're thinking. I'm 18, don't have a stable job or home, and can barely cook. It doesn't matter what age you are. When you hold a baby and see the smile on their face, you are a parent. That child can change the world. But one mistake, and it's gone.
Pressure, dizzy, hungry, impatient, bleeding, noises, shaking, lights, legs spread up, wide awake, thinking, why should I? I saw the whole thing happen, blood all over a small tube. That's what my nightmare is about. Sixteen years old, crying, without a voice to be heard. Eyes watery, crying out loud, please help me. The doctor finished the procedure, and I was left alone.”
This woman from the UK had a fight over her best friend who had an abortion, that is, until she found herself in the same position. An important message on the importance of not judging someone until you have walked a mile in their shoes.
“I'm sharing my story because I'm struggling. I feel like being able to tell someone how I'm feeling will help. I've always been strongly opposed to abortion. I've always said I'd never have one. I fell out with my best friend in February of last year over her abortion, and I haven't spoken to her since. In October, when I found out I was pregnant, it was a massive shock. I'd been on the pill for a few years, been with my boyfriend for a year and a half, and we were so happy. I knew straight away I couldn't go through with an abortion. My boyfriend on the other hand didn't care. All he wanted was for me to have the abortion, and he'd have done anything to get me to have one. He was supportive, don't get me wrong. He was there every step of the way and continues to support me now, but I feel he should have taken my views into account back then.
I went for my first scan on a Thursday evening. I was told I was about six weeks along. This hurt, a lot—knowing there was a tiny life with a heartbeat inside of me. I had my first of many breakdowns.I had to go to hospital to have it done as I was on blood thinners. I was having knee surgery three weeks later, and it posed a larger risk. I had a breakdown taking the first tablet. It took me three hours to take it. ''The hardest part is over,'' one of the nurses told me. Having the abortion was easy. The mental issues that come with it are difficult. I know I'm only ever going to get over this when I have my own baby in my arms. Abortion didn't make me 'unpregnant.' it made me the mother of a dead baby.”
This American woman had her abortion 11 years ago,, sometimes time does not heal all wounds.
“I had an abortion 11 years ago. I had just turned 21. I was in college and I had been with a long term boyfriend, who I lived with for 3 years. I was living in an apartment, driving an old broken car and barely making ends meet with my work study job and my weekend employment while I attended school full time. I found out I was pregnant and didn't know what to do. My boyfriend wanted to be supportive and told me he would do anything I decided. Keep the baby or terminate it, although I also felt I'd be ruining his life's aspirations by forcing him into fatherhood. I was one year shy of starting my internship at school. I was terrified of disappointing my parents, and his parents by flushing my college education down the toilet. At the time that was how I saw it. I now know I could have had my baby and finished school. A baby is not a death sentence or something that ruins your life.
The day of the abortion I showed up uneasily to the clinic. My boyfriend was there and waited in the waiting room. I went back when I was called into the ultrasound room. The technician started my ultrasound to find out how far along I was. It was January 7, 2006. The worst day of my life. I was seven weeks pregnant. I was experiencing morning sickness. I would later find out my baby had fingers toes a face and a heart beat. That day I asked through tears to see the ultrasound. I was told no by the technician. I was told the only purpose was to date my pregnancy. I wasn't allowed to see it. I asked through tears if the baby looked ok, or had a heartbeat. The technician told me she wasn't allowed to disclose information like that I was given a pamphlet of information about what to expect after the medical procedure and I was given some pain meds and an anti-anxiety drug. I took the medication in a haze. I wanted to scream and run out. I wanted to call my Mother. I wanted someone there to tell me there was another way to handle my pregnancy. To legitimize the life inside me. No one did. I was trusting "professionals" so I thought they knew something I didn't. I thought they knew best. I eventually moved on and went back to school. Planned a wedding with my boyfriend and buried it all. Told no one.”
Many woman in the USA and around the world don’t want to tell others about their abortions out of fear of judgement, so they stay silent and never receive the help they need.
“I stopped my birth control in July of 2014. To my disbelief, I was pregnant in September. My husband and I had talked about having another child, so I was excited and also nervous. I told my husband, and he was angry. I couldn't understand. I thought that we had talked about this, and we wanted another baby. He said that he was never really on board with having another baby and that the timing was not right. I was 100% against abortion, so when he mentioned it I said "absolutely not" and explained my beliefs. He didn't listen, and I'm sure he didn't care. He kept bringing it up, saying it was our only option. I thought about adoption, but how do explain that to your 9-year-old? After a few weeks of feeling like the pregnancy was all my fault and the only way to make my husband happy was to abort the baby, I made the appointment.
I went to my appointment alone in December. It was three hours away. I remember the text messages I received from my husband saying it was for the best. I continued to not want to do it, but felt that it was my only option. I opted to have a suction abortion; I wanted it to be over with and not to think about it. The staff were very comforting, but the procedure was painful. I opted not to have any IV meds due to driving myself and not having a ride. It was awful; the cramps consumed me. I left as soon as they would let me and I drove myself the three hours home. I vowed to myself that I would never get pregnant again, even though I wanted more children. I told myself I didn't deserve another baby—to feel the joy and happiness of watching a child grow up. It took its toll on my marriage for many months. I blamed him and hated him for making me do it. He didn't make me do it. He didn't make me do anything. I was weak and chose what I thought was the easy way to making my husband happy. I didn't take into account my feelings until it was too late. The regret still haunts me to this day.
In some circumstance, such as this next one from Long Beach, California, babies are aborted to save them for a life that the mother believes will be painful. It can be a sign of a mothers love and protection.
“I've been in an abusive relationship for about two years now. I have a daughter who I love so much and cry to every night. Her dad has abused me physically, mentally, and verbally. I'm tired of this situation. I told him I was having an abortion because I can't see another child go through the fear he has put in myself and my baby. I'm going through very bad depression at the moment and I want you to know, the pain has never left. He constantly reminds me that I'm a baby killer. My baby's due date was 10 days before my birthday. I can't take the pain anymore. I want to die every day. The child I killed didn't deserve what I did to it. Please don't abort. Find help; be strong. Don't be dumb like me.”
The words in this last post haunt me. To read this woman from South Africa describes herself because of her decisions is heartbreaking.
“This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do—being brutally honest and speaking about my journey with abortion is something I never thought I could do. I don't think any woman in this world is as disgusting and vile as I am because you see I didn't have one abortion, I had THREE!
I was 16 years old. I had always been slow when it came to boys. I met my first boyfriend. He was not really my type and I didn't really find him attractive, but he was funny and that sort of kept me interested enough to continue talking to him. The weekend ended, and they left and. A couple weeks later I went to visit my aunt, and he came over and asked to take me out. We went on dates for three weeks and before I returned to go back home, he asked me to make it official with him as he didn't want to share me with anyone else. I agreed to give "us" a go, and so began the rollercoaster relationship that lasted five years. I eventually got a pregnancy test and took it at the side of the road. It was positive, and I remember crying my eyes out. I was 17 years old, from a staunch catholic home with parents who trusted me. How could I keep it? My boyfriend suggested an abortion and I agreed.
Fast forward a couple of years. I am now in my second long-term relationship with the second guy I had been intimate with, and he Is the love of my life. We had been together for two years and had just moved in together because he was insecure and needed me in the same town as him. I had quit my job and because my family wasn't happy about us moving in together before marriage, they cut me off from all financial assistance. So I depended solely on him to survive. I was on the pill and had been so sick I needed to get meds from the clinic, and that is when it happened. I couldn't believe that this had happened again. My boyfriend was excited at first, but the more we struggled to survive, the more we realized that we could not bring a kid into this kind of life. My boyfriend made the appointment for the abortion and as I lay there screaming on that cold steel table, I secretly prayed that I could die instead of that innocent life I had taken.
The relationship with guy number two fast became toxic and abusive and before long my parents fetched me and took me home. I felt safer there than I had felt in years, except for the deep dark secret I had that haunted me every single day of my life. I grew close to a distant cousin's husband. He was having issues in his marriage but still took the time to counsel me and really give me good advice. He was my best friend, my judge-free zone, my pick-me-up person, my happy place where I could be me—the cute, funny, intelligent, happy and sexy me that was buried for so many years by two insecure, jealous and abusive men who made me feel like trash. I was not in the least bit attracted to him; we just had an amazing friendship, and he built me up day by day and helped me to find my smile. That is when it started. This time I was on the injection and it was said to be 99% safe so what are the chances that the positive test I was holding in my hand was correct? But it was. My soul died that day. He wanted to keep it and tell his wife and be with me, but how could I??? It was my cousins husband! it was my family's trust! It was a marriage I was ruining. Until that moment, I never saw how wrong that was. It was a kid's life torn apart because her dad was running off with her mom's cousin. He paid for the abortion and took me there. He waited in the waiting room while they put me out. I woke up empty—pain free and physically fine but my heart and soul and entire existence was shattered and meaningless and dark and changed. I was the scum of the earth—the most vile and disgusting human being, so unworthy of anything good.